Peanut Butter Kisses
Peanut butter, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, a touch of coconut oil...and that's it. So simple and so delicious.
In an effort to create gluten free peanut butter cookies, I messed with my standard recipe, removing the flour. I'll be honest, I had no idea how these cookies would turn out. Peanut butter cookies are my absolute favorite (peanut butter anything, really), so messing with a recipe to go gluten free was worrisome. But, to my most pleasant surprise, something miraculous occurred. Removing the flour only heightened the peanut butter flavor. It's a dream come true.
Given peanut butter's natural fat content, I took my changes further and removed the butter as well. Another glorious surprise. These cookies are rich, chewy, and buttery without a touch of butter. Basically, peanut butter is magical and needs no stage help.
These peanut butter cookies are gluten free, butter free, and flourless. When you taste them you would never know. Trust me, I'm a hard one to please. I'm typically not a fan of healthy adjustments; I'd rather not eat the cookie. But these are not a compromise. I served these babies to a group of friends and no one was the wiser.
The trick is finding a thick consistency peanut butter. The batter needs to hold its shape so if your peanut butter is too oily it'll cause a problem. I used Jif Natural Crunchy and it worked perfectly.
The brown sugar sweetens the cookie while the egg binds it together. The coconut oil adds a hint of richness and a wonderful chewy texture. To create a crisp texture on the outside, I rolled the cookies into granulated sugar before baking. Rolling in sugar also helps in handling the sticky batter.
The only thing I love more than peanut butter is peanut butter and chocolate. Is there a better combination? Nope. To bring these cookies over the top I revisited my favorite childhood treat, peanut butter kisses. Hershey's Dark Chocolate Kisses are gluten free! When you take the cookies out of the oven, let them sit for a minute or two, then firmly press an unwrapped Hershey's Dark Chocolate Kiss in the center. The kiss will hold its shape, melting just enough on the bottom.
Peanut Butter Kisses
*Makes 18 cookies
- 3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup crunchy peanut butter (I recommend Jif Natural Crunchy)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (for rolling)
- About 2 dozen Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses, unwrapped (they’re gluten-free)
- Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Mix the brown sugar, salt, and vanilla till combined.
- Add the egg and coconut oil, mix till well combined.
- With a wooden spoon, stir in the peanut butter.
- Chill the dough for 1 hour.
- Using a 1 1/4” cookie scoop or small spoon, drop the batter into the granulated sugar, covering completely. Roll into a ball. Place the cookies onto prepared cookie sheets, spacing them a couple inches apart.
- Bake on center rack for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges.
- Allow the cookies to cool for 2 minutes and then take a Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kiss and press it firmly into the center of the cookie. Allow to cool for 5 minutes more, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- Store in an air-tight container for 3 days or freeze for 1 month.
Note: Because there is no flour, the cookie batter will seem very soft and runny, but they will turn out. You want to use a peanut butter with a dense texture to help hold the dough together. Jif Natural Crunchy is recommended. If you don't want to add the Hershey Kiss, simply use a fork to create the classic peanut butter cookie criss cross pattern before baking.